Matthew


Temptation and Evil

God does not lead His people into enticement, but He may lead us into difficulties which test our character and try our faith and allegiance. The petition beseeches God to lead us not into difficulties, evil occurrences, tragedy, misfortune, disease, and so forth. The prayer honestly admits one’s own frailty and human limitations.


To the Lost Sheep of Israel

Who were the lost sheep of Israel? They were the sinners, tax-collectors, harlots, and backslidden among the Jewish people—the “secular Jews” of the day who had abandoned Torah and the religion of their fathers. For Yeshua “did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”


I Came to Bring a Sword

The prophets say that the Messiah will initiate an era of world peace during which “the wolf will dwell with the lamb” and the nations will hammer their swords into plowshares. “Nation will not lift up sword against nation, and...


Hunger and Thirst

Yeshua taught his disciples that those who hunger and thirst now are especially blessed because they will enjoy being satisfied in the Messianic Era. Does this refer to the poor and needy who literally hunger from lack of food and thirst from lack of clean water? Or does it refer to a spiritual hunger and thirst?


Shaking the Dust from their Feet

Yeshua warned His disciples that not every place would receive their message. He told them not to waste time arguing or trying to persuade people. Instead, He told them to leave that place, and He said, "As you go out from there, shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them" (Mark 6:11).


When the Son of Man Comes

What did He mean when He said that He will deny us before the angels of God? “Before the angels of God” is a theological circumlocution that simply means “before God.” In this context, the “angels of God” constitute the heavenly court over which the LORD presides. The throne of judgment is in view.


Get Behind Me Satan

The Master responded, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Matthew 16:23). Did the master of darkness momentarily possess Simon Peter at Caesarea Philippi? Were Peter’s objections so unreasonable as to require a demonic explanation?


The Secret Messiah

When Yeshua asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”, Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” It was the correct answer, but Yeshua warned the disciples not to tell anyone that He was the Messiah. Why? Was that not that the whole point of His proclamation, “The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand”?


The Power to Bind and Loose

In context, this does not refer to authority to bind and loose evil spirits in spiritual warfare. The terms to bind and to loose (forbid and permit) appear literally thousands of times in the Mishnah, Talmud, and rabbinic literature. The Torah vested the power to bind and loose in the Sanhedrin.


Keys to Heaven

The popular folk-image of Saint Peter receiving souls at the gates of heaven derives from this passage. The "keys to the kingdom" are not literal keys, nor are they keys to the heavenly paradise.